Page 2, The Loafer • June 17, 2014
June 17, 2014 • The Loafer, Page 3
Volume 28 Issue #28
June 26th - 28th, 2014 Publisher - Bill Williams • Editor/Graphic Arts Director - Don Sprinkle • Office Manager - Luci Tate Cover Design - Bill May • Photography - Mark Marquette Advertising - Dave Carter, Akey Kincaid, Terry Patterson Contributing Staff - Jim Kelly, Andy Ross, Ken Silvers, Mark Marquette, Pat Bussard Published by Tree Street Media, LLC., P.O. Box 3238, Johnson City, TN 37602 Phone: 423/283-4324 FAX - 423/283-4369 www.theloaferonline.com • firstname.lastname@example.org e-mail: email@example.com (editorial) firstname.lastname@example.org (advertising All advertisements are accepted and published by the publisher upon the representation that the agency and/or advertiser is authorized to publish the entire contents and subject matter thereof.The agency and/or advertiser will indemnify and save the publisher harmless from any loss of expense resulting from claims or suits based upon contents of any advertisement,including claims or suits for defamation,libel,right of privacy,plagiarism,and copyright infringement.
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RED, WHITE AND
BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL Morganton, NC • June 26-28
Get ready to party with an extensive list of talented musicians at the Red, White and Bluegrass Festival on June 26th - June 28th, 2014! This three-day event has become one of the largest traditional bluegrass festivals in the world and will continue to grow this year with more than 19 bluegrass artists performing. The City of Morganton invites families to celebrate with national and regional bluegrass talent including many International Bluegrass Music Associations award winners. Meet Bluegrass music’s greatest ambassadors, Cindy Baucom of the Premiere Radio Network “Knee Deep In Bluegrass”, Dennis Jones of WNCW 88.7 and “Goin Across The Mountain”. Take a free tram ride on a twenty-seven passenger train! The free train service will provide shuttle services as well as entertainment. Festivities include a bluegrass camp for kids (June 25th-June 27th, 2014), tent sales of bluegrass instruments, music and other related materials, food and drink vendors, official festival caps and t-shirts. While in Morganton for your summer des-
tination, please enjoy this charming city and all it has to offer. Visit the vibrant downtown filled with restaurants, galleries and shops before making your way to the festival area. Also be sure to make plans to take advantage of Beanstalk’s Journey zip line and climbing tower attraction at Catawba Meadows Park. Compliment your Bluegrass vacation with visits to regional attractions such as Lake James, South Mountain State Park, Table Rock, Grandfather Mountain, Appalachian Trail, Blue Ridge Parkway, and the City’s beautiful Catawba River Greenway. Morganton is also the home of Ben Long Fresco and the History Museum of Burke County. The friendly Burke County Visitor’s Center is ready to help you with information and directions to local and regional attractions! Celebrate the 11th Annual Red, White and Bluegrass! Call (800) 939-7469 for tickets. For more information regarding the festival or camping details call (828) 433-7469, (800) 9397469, (828) 439-1866 or visit www.redwhiteandbluegrassfestival.com. Visit this Featured Event at www.festivalnews.info.
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Johnson City Community Theatre Proudly Presents
“Always a Bridesmaid” Have you ever kept a promise? How about keeping a promise for 40 years? Johnson City Community Theatre invites you to kick-off 2014’s wedding season with the hysterical wedding memories of four unforgettable women. Running now thur June 28, the remarkable characters of “Always a Bridesmaid” are here to prove what it means to be a true friend, regardless of the circumstances. Directed by Melanie Yodkins, this all-female cast promises a sensational night of sidesplitting laughs and fond recollections to anyone who has ever been in or gone to a wedding. Kari (Nora Beth Moran) sets the stage and it is through her comical reminisces during her own wedding reception that she takes you through her mother and godmother’s journeys of love and relationships. Her mother, Libby Ruth (Joy Nagy), is the hopeless romantic who genuinely believes her
friends can find true love - even though their testimonies to relationships show a very different, and hilarious, side of being married. Deedra (Laura Berry) is the shining example of a strong, educated woman of today who takes her work and relationships very seriously. Monette (Stacey Bracey) entertains audiences as the bodacious, ever-optimistic “frequent flyer” when it comes to being married while Charlie (Paige Mengel) and her tree-hugging ways keep her grounded, and she is always capable of speaking her mind, regardless of the consequences. All of the weddings are orchestrated by Sedalia (Vicky Livesay), who keeps all things running smoothly with grace and dignity. Bring your family, bridesmaids, past or future bride to this uproarious presentation in JCCT’s 102nd
season. Tickets are $15.00, $12.00 for seniors, students, military, MSHA employees, or groups of 15+. Show dates are June 20, 21, 27 and 28 at 7:30 p.m. Matinees are Sunday, June 22, and Saturday, June 28, both at 2:00 p.m. The
theatre doors open 45 minutes early for purchasing tickets and/ or seating. For more information, or to purchase tickets, go to www. jcct.info or call 423-926-2542. Get ready for riotous laughs as the cast of “Always a Bridesmaid”
reminds you, in their not-so-subtle way, that “the course of true love never did run true.” Written by Tri-Cities’ favorite trio: jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten.
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Writer, Rocker, Biker, Geek
at The Acoustic Coffeehouse - Friday, June 20th Unleaded rhythmic alt-pop fuels singer/songwriter and twowheel troubadour Michael McFarland’s engine. Garnering comparisons ranging from modern rock groups such as Matchbox 20 & The Fray to classic singer-songwriters such as Paul Simon & Elton John, the Asheville, NC based performer mixes an intensity with a sensitivity wrapped in effective contradictions. Astride his motorcycle with a guitar strapped to his back, making references to quantum mechanics or science fiction, McFarland embraces and explores his wide spectrum of knowledge, interests, experiences, and hobbies in his music and writing. Michael McFarland in the simplest summary? Writer, Rocker, Biker, Geek. The self-deprecating humorist, who makes a solo intimate acoustic performance with just his voice and a guitar sound like an arena show with all the volume, the lights, and the smoke, McFarland entertains the smallest crowds on the largest scale. Raised in Kent, Ohio (where students get shot and rivers catch on fire), McFarland is a self-professed “proud kindergarten dropout” after escaping the public school system to be home schooled. Coming from a family of scientists with his father being a nuclear physicist and mother a former biologist, Michael grew
up strongly embracing the arts and the sciences in a simultaneous harmony that allowed him to thrive. McFarland believes that his fondness of motorcycles may be a genetic condition: his branch of Clan MacFarlane was run out of Scotland in 1805 for being horse thieves. When it comes to saddling up, however, McFarland prefers
two wheels to four legs. “Motorcycles are easier to keep fed,” he says. “And much more pleasant to clean up after.” Michael McFarland spent much of his twenties playing in rock bands and developing his skills as a songwriter, performer, producer, and engineer. His first solo album was all Michael. From every instrument played, to the writing, production, engineering, mixing, and mastering, McFarland clearly reinforced the definition of the DIY album. From touring across America on the back of a motorcycle, to reflecting and inserting the experiences of his life, loves found, loves lost, and his childhood, Michael McFarland sings his heartfelt autobiographical songs, accompanied by only an acoustic guitar, a loop pedal, and a motorcycle waiting outside to bring him to the next show. Michael will be performing Friday, June 20th at The Acoustic Coffeehouse, located at 415 W. Walnut Street in Johnson City. For more information, call (423) 434-9872
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Song of the Mountains presents their
Summer Fundraising Concert at Lincoln Theatre Song of the Mountains will present their summer fundraising concert at the Lincoln Theatre in Marion, Virginia on Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 2:00 pm. The fundraising concert will be presented this year as a 2:00 pm matinee to allow ticket buyers and fans of the concert series to attend the concert early in the day and enjoy the restaurants and stores in Downtown Marion after the concert. Once again the Song of the Mountains Fundraising Concert will feature some of the best entertainers in the country. “This show will truly be a variety of entertainment with everything from magic to comedy to some fantastic music”, says Tim White the host and executive coordinator of the award winning concert series. White says, “We are in our tenth season of tapings for Song of the Mountains and our show airs across America on public television. We reach millions of people a year through our wonderful concert series based in Marion, VA. We do need to constantly fundraise to keep our production funded and we appreciate all who support us through this concert each year”. Scheduled to appear on the show on June 21st is the Magic of Dave Vaught, That Evening Sun, David Browning as the Mayberry Deputy, Dennis Cash, Jeanette & Johnny Williams, Lorraine Jordan, the Gentlemen of Bluegrass, Marshall Brothers, Paula Dellenback & Fox River, The Comedy of Phil Campbell, Raymond McLain & Tim White, The Comedy of Phil Fox, Tune Town Old Time String Band and more. Lots of good music and laughter at this fine event for the entire family. Tickets are $ 15 and available at the Lincoln Theatre Box Office or online at www.songofthemountains.org. Tickets may be reserved by phone at 276-783-6093. Song of the Mountains/Lincoln Theatre is a non-profit organization. If you would like to make a
tax deductible donation or want of the Mountains please contact more information on national un- the Lincoln Theatre at the contact derwriting opportunities for Song information mentioned.
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Summer brings Hot Nights,Cool Music series to Northeast State
Taikoza Japanese Flute & Drum Ensemble
Summer time and the music is free and easy! Northeast State Community College presents the “Hot Nights, Cool Music” summer concert. The series schedule includes local, regional, and nationally known artists bringing eclectic sounds of music to the stage. All shows are free and open to the public. All shows are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. at the Regional Center for the Performing Arts at the College’s main campus in Blountville next to Tri-Cities Regional Airport. The concert series features the following performers: Taikoza Japanese Flute and Drum Ensemble, June 26 – The unique International Taiko drums, Bamboo Flutes and Dance Ensemble that will blow your mind with their performance. The ensemble features soulful Shakuhachi music
by a world Master accompanied by the powerful and ancestral Taiko drums of Taikoza. The Beast, July 7 – Beautifully rebellious and refreshingly original, The Beast is one of the most imaginative bands to emerge from North Carolina’s burgeoning music scene. The Durhambased quartet fearlessly navigates worlds of hip hop and jazz with compelling lyrics, progressive compositions and a gripping live show. The Beast developed its sound at UNC-Chapel Hill where pianist Eric Hirsh, drummer Stephen Coffman, and bassist Peter Kimosh studied jazz, while emcee Pierce Freelon developed his lyricism in classrooms and music venues across campus. The Johnson City Community Band, July 12 – The band is made up of approximately 60 members
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Hot Nights - Continued from previous page and associate members who have a diverse background in music. While lineups have changed over the years, one thing however has stayed the same – the band has grown and improved each year in the quality of members and quality of performances. Rambling Rose Band, July 15 – The Ramblin’ Rose Band is an allgirl, all-family, band in touch with their roots. Ramblin’ Rose features vocalist Loretta Woodson, her two daughters Bayo Chewning and Renee Riddle, and granddaughter Kristin Jenkins on guitar, banjo, fiddle, and bass, respectively. This band of the three generations of gals is not only a rarity, but a testament to the connection of the family. This sublime blend of the vocal-harmonies in the Ramblin’ Rose band is related, literally. The Frito Puente Band, July 18 – Local jazz aficionados are excited for the return of Frito Puente to stages around the region. After
a 2 year relocation to Germany, jazz musician Bill Perkins is reunited in Johnson City, TN with his former band mates Sam Burke on bass and Jose Castillo on percussion. Frito Puente’s style spans Latin flavored artists like Santana and Chick Corea, jazz standards from Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and Thelonius Monk, and original compositions. Tri-Cities Shaped-Note Singing Concert, July 24 – Shaped-note singing is an American tradition of hymn-singing that endures today in churches and annual singing schools and conventions. The style began in New England in the 18th century and made its way to the Southern states where it enjoyed popularity through the mid-19th century. For more information about the summer concerts visit www. northeaststate.edu or contact 423.354.5169.
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“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor® Dreamcoat” Opens June 20 at Paramount Center for the Performing Arts
Tickets are on Sale Now for an “Amazing” Summer with Theatre Bristol and its Megaproduction at the Paramount Center for the Performing Arts June 20-22 and 27-29!
Theatre Bristol returns to the Paramount Center for the Performing Arts stage with the Broadway hit musical by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor® Dreamcoat” this June. Six performances of the “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor® Dreamcoat” amateur production will open on Friday, June 20th, and continue Saturday, June 21st, Sunday, June 22nd, Friday, June 27th, Saturday, June 28th, and Sunday, June 29th. Evening performances on Friday and Saturday will be at 7:30 pm and Sunday matinees will be at 2:30 pm. Tickets available now online at www.theparamountcenter.com/index.php/ tickets/or call the Paramount Box Office at 423-274-8920, Tuesday through Friday, 9am to 5pm. The show will open with a gala event with special $15 tickets. All tickets are already priced with group rates for everyone, including families, church, and community groups at$12 for adults and $10 for students and seniors. Gold Circle premium seating is also available by calling 423-383-
5979. Long-time Theatre Bristol supporter and director Glenn Patterson will direct the production that tells the Bible saga of Joseph and his coat of many colors. Joseph, a boy with prophetic dreams, is his father’s favorite son. When his jealous brothers sell him into slavery, Joseph embarks on an adventure that challenges his spirit and humanity. The musical style of the show ranges from country-western, calypso, bubble-gum pop and rock ‘n roll. Since its creation in 1968 over 20,000 productions have been seen across the world. The film version starred Donnie Osmond as Joseph. “The “only dream that would do” for Theatre Bristol, is to be back on the Paramount stage with a family-friendly major musical production, and after five years that dream is coming true,” said Samantha Gray, author of the biography on Theatre founder Catherine F. DeCaterina and Board member. Board of Directors President Mike Musick said “We’ve recommitted our organization to late founder Cathy DeCaterina’s vision,
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Joseph - Continued from previous page to providing good quality family entertainment with a primary focus on children and providing kids, young and old, to be a part of the show.” “We are so pleased to have someone as gifted and respected as Glenn Patterson directing,” said Gray, who is producing the show. “He’s telling this classic story with a cast of talented area men and women, a children’s chorus, from choreographed calypsos, hoedowns, to ballet and more, a coat of many colors along with beautiful costumes, and a dramatic set design--all framed by the Paramount stage--it really is amazing!” Theatre Bristol will draw back the curtain on “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor® Dreamcoat” because of dedicated volunteers, cast, crew, sponsors, and a director who all want to see the dream of community theatre in Bristol continue another 50 years. A cast of 50, this summer mustsee event includes Theatre Bristol veterans Laura O’Bryan as the Narrator, Nick Reynolds as Joseph, John Runde as Jacob, and newcomer Robert McCrary as the Pharaoh. The brothers are portrayed by Dan Gray as Reuben, James R. Altman III as Simeon, Donovan Boddie as Levi, Ben Fitton as Judah, Kevin O’Bryan as Dan, Ian M. Crosby as Naphtali, Koty Peak as Gad, Bryant Denmark as Asher, Matthew Torbett as Issachar, Daniel Freeman as Zebulun, and Luke Gray as Benjamin. The supporting cast includes James R. Altman III as Potiphar, Camille Gray as Mrs. Potiphar, Bryant Denmark as the Butler, and Donovan Boddie as the Baker. Wives, Egyptians, and featured dancers are Lindsay Marshall, Elizabeth Anne Burns, Emily Yates, Makenna Arnold, Tori Upton, Ashton Bishop, Anna Kimerer, Sylvia Meredith, Patty Denmark, Hyacynth Barbera, Rowan Skeen, Camille Gray, and Aubrey Sobczak. Chorus members are Seth Peterson and John Mullins. The children’s chorus features many newcomers to Theatre Bristol including Kaden Powers, Kyah Powers, Sam Meredith, Tom Meredith, Cameron Roberts, Jazz Strachan, Lana Grace Ward,
Carly Street, Lillian Price, Logan Plymal, Macie Minor, Mhari Reid, Kylie Reid, Emma Bishop, and Abby Fannin, as well as veterans Zaiah Gray, Emma Kennedy, and Emmersyn-Grace Hardy. The “Amazing” crew includes music director Alissa Michelle King, production designer David D. Hyde, Jr., choreographer Jessica Flagg, costume designer Alethea Skeen, makeup and hair designer Savannah Stone, property mistress Lindsay Marshall, assistant property mistress Elizabeth Burns, stage manager Meaghan Gray, assistant stage managers Kaylie Crain and Victoria Burnette, sound manager John Neal, production intern Nick Thompson, and dance captain Camille Gray. Special thanks go to Clayton Zane Photography, Vicki Musick, Kathy Story, Miriam Price, Robbie Price, Steve Branch, Mark Dillard, Dan Perry, Dan H. Perry, Jennifer Ward, and Todd Peak.
“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor® Dreamcoat” is presented through special arrangement with and all authorized performance materials are supplied by Rodgers & Hammerstein, 229 W. 28th St., 11th Floor, New York, NY 10001. (212) 541-6600, www.rnh.com. Theatre Bristol was founded in Established in 1965 by Catherine F. DeCaterina as Bristol Children’s Theatre. It is located at 512 State Street in Bristol, TN and is a nonprofit volunteer-run organization, working to serve the children and the arts community of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. Theatre Bristol, entirely community and volunteer operated, holds the distinction as Tennessee’s oldest continuing children’s theatre and will celebrate its 50th anniversary next year. For more information or to support the Theatre, visit theatrebristol.org and become a fan on Facebook.
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Trey Hensley & Drivin’ Force to perform at The Carter Famly Fold
Saturday, June 21st, 2014, at 7:30 p.m. the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, will present a concert of bluegrass music by Trey Hensley & Drivin’ Force. Admission to the concert is $10 for adults, $1 for children 6 to 11, under age 6 free. Trey Hensley, despite his young age, has already forged his own style. What started twelve years ago as a kid singing traditional bluegrass has become the mature sound of a country performer and vocalist in his 20s who has already found his voice. While you’ll hear some of his idols and influences around the edges, more than anything, you’ll hear Trey Hensley. With a guitar in his hands, his talent expands beyond his young age. This guitar aficionado will blow your mind. His own style of picking – whether on his Telecaster or acoustic – bears the influence of some of his guitar heroes. You’ll hear traces of James Burton, Marty Stuart, Buck Owens, Ricky Skaggs, Doc Watson, and Tony Rice. Friends with Johnny Cash and Earl Scruggs, he’s picked with Tom T. Hall, the Oak Ridge Boys, Steve
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Wariner, Charlie Daniels, Ricky Skaggs, and many others. He first stepped into the Grand Ole Opry’s spotlight in 2002, performing on the hallowed Ryman stage at the age of only eleven years old. Before that, he appeared onstage at the Carter Fold – the birthplace of country music. Hensley’s first country project, Looking at my Future, finds him with guitars firmly in hand and surrounded by some of the finest studio musicians in Nashville. Covering material done by Johnny Rodriguez, Elvis Presley, and Jerry Reed - his easy vocal styling and hot licks on the release are amazing. With his second country CD, It is What it Is, the Jonesborough, Tennessee, native is heading out playing his own brand of traditional honky-tonk music. Trey’s new CD is a combination of radiofriendly and contemporary songs as well as songs with the classic sound of some of his heroes. It features songs done by Elton John, Conway Twitty, Jimmy Dickens, and many other music industry greats as well as special guests who contributed their time and
talent to the release. Several years ago, Trey hit the road with his four-piece band for a tour that carried him from Philadelphia to Los Angeles, Nebraska to North Carolina, and beyond. During the tour, his group opened for Steve Wariner, Randy Owen, and Marty Stuart. While he continues to travel throughout the U.S. and Canada, Trey is always mindful of the roots of the music he loves. He never lets country fans forget where it all began. Trey’s talent and stage presence are indicative of a performer far
beyond his age. His tremendous talent and his down home humility impress everyone he meets. Marty Stuart calls him a “bona fide hillbilly rock star.” You won’t hear better guitar picking anywhere, and his vocals are every bit as spell-binding as his playing. If you aren’t a fan of Trey’s already, you will be when you hear him. For a night of some of the best bluegrass and traditional country music you can imagine, don’t miss Trey Hensley and Drivin’ Force at the Carter Family Fold! Trey grew up playing on the Carter
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Get Creative at the Free Kids’ Art Day
for State of the Arts Weekend! As part of Believe in Bristol’s State of the Arts Weekend, the Arts & Entertainment District and the Junior League of Bristol are hosting a free Kids’ Art Day event on Saturday, June 21, from 10a.m. to Trey Hensley & Drivin’ Force 12 noon. Held in the TriSummit Fold stage, and it feels like part of Trail. You can visit the Crooked Bank parking lot, there will be a our family is coming home when Road Music Trail site at http:// host of fun artsy activities for kids he performs there. The Fold takes thecrookedroad.org. Partial fund- – and parents – to enjoy! Activities will include a handstremendous pride in bringing him ing for programs at the center is back to our stage. If you need provided by the Virginia Commis- on craft project, cookie decorating, more information on Trey, go to sion for the Arts the National En- creative movement class, hip hop dowment for the Arts. For record- demo, face painting, balloon art, http://treyhensley.com/. For further information on the ed information on shows coming and sidewalk chalk drawing. The center, go to http://www.carter- up at the Fold, call 276-386-6054. Junior League will also be handing familyfold.org. Shows from the The Fold is on Facebook – page out a walking tour leaflet that will Carter Family Fold can be accessed Carter Fold – and Twitter – Twit- lead kids and parents on the fun on the internet at http://www. ter @carterfoldinfo. To speak to Caterpillar Crawl around town; carterfoldshow.com. Carter Mu- a Fold staff member, call 276-594- copies of the leaflet are also available at the Bristol Public Library. sic Center is part of the Crooked 0676. “The free Kids’ Art Day is a wonRoad: Virginia’s Heritage Music
derful opportunity for children to participate in the arts,” said René Rodgers, Associate Director of Believe in Bristol. “All of the activities allow them to tap into their imaginations and find new ways to express themselves. We hope that this event will encourage parents and children to embrace their artistic sides!” So come join us in Historic Downtown Bristol for this fun free event, open to kids of all ages! Thank you to TriSummit Bank for donating water, to Blackbird Bakery for donating the cookies for decorating, and to the City of Bristol, Virginia, for sponsoring this event. For information about this and other State of the Arts events, please contact René Rodgers, As-
sociate Director of Believe in Bristol, at 276-644-9700 or visit www. believeinbristol.org or www.bristolarts.org.
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Collin Raye & Brinley Addington to perform at concert for Children’s Miracle Network
Acclaimed country music artist Collin Raye and highly regarded opening act Brinley Addington will enhance children’s care at Wellmont Health System hospitals with a special concert Saturday, June 21, at the Farmer’s Market. The duo will demonstrate their flair for creating and performing dynamic music when they hit the stage at 7 p.m. for the second annual Brinley Addington Hometown
Throwdown presented by First Kingsport Credit Union. They will also showcase their compassionate hearts, as the event serves as a fundraiser for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. “We’re looking forward to a night of great fun and excellent music that will captivate the crowd while also supporting an outstanding cause,” Addington said. “Having been born at Holston Valley Medical Center and raised in Kingsport, I have seen how children’s lives have been transformed through the amazing work of Children’s Miracle Network. “It’s a privilege to support this cause and give more children the opportunity to not only survive but thrive due to lifesaving care made possible, in large measure, by Children’s Miracle Network.” Addington detailed the can’t-miss event
during a news conference Tuesday, May 27, at the credit union, which is serving as the title sponsor. The throwdown has also attracted 13 other philanthropic sponsors, illustrating the broad appeal of these musicians and Children’s Miracle Network. “Collin and Brinley are two remarkable performers who will create an electric atmosphere for this concert,” said Beverly Boling, the credit union’s CEO. “We’re thrilled to play a part in bringing high-caliber entertainment to downtown Kingsport and making a positive difference in children’s lives. It’s a win-win for everyone.” Other sponsors are Price & Ramey Insurance, Saxon Clark Real Estate Group, Fairway Ford, Courtesy Chevrolet, Carter-Trent Funeral Home, GoinsRashCain, Valley View Animal Clinic, Oak Hill Funeral Home, Edwards Tipton Witt Agency, Domtar, J.A. Street & Associates, Spoden & Wilson Consulting Engineers, Southern Classic Auto Wash and the City of Kingsport. Wellmont has served as the Children’s Miracle Network affiliate in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia for more than As part their Kids Fin-Tastic 25 years. Theofhealth system uses allSummer, money Jason Dolley PJ on Disney’s “Good raised in thiswho areaplays to purchase state-of-theLuck Charlie” will make an appearance on Satart equipment for its pediatric departments, urday, June 14. Timecare to beunit determined. neonatal intensive and emergency Ripley’s Aquarium the Smokies was voted departments and to of fund community partthe number Aquarium in America by Trinerships thatone advance children’s health. pAdvisor, and Forbes Magazine Miracle named itNetone A beneficiary of Children’s of America’s Best Aquariums. aquarium is work is the family of Todd The Freeman, who best known forproduction its amazing company shark exhibit owns a local andthat is features 11with foot Addington sharks and one the throwlongest working onofthe underwater tunnels in granddaughter, the world. down. Freeman’s Grace, theinSmokies is lospentRipley’s about sixAquarium weeks inof 2013 the neonatal cated at traffic 5 onValley. the Parkway intensive care light unit number at Holston Born in Gatlinburg, Tennessee and is open daily. four weeks early at 4 pounds, 3 ounces, she Call 888-240-1358 for information, more would not eat sufficiently and hadand trouble celebrity events or see us on the web at www. with reflux. ripleysaquariumofthesmokies.com Now 13 months old, Grace continues to make impressive strides as she grows into a toddler. Freeman talks positively about the care she received in the NICU and the help Children’s Miracle Network provides. “We’re big fans of Children’s Miracle Net-
work and the NICU and the difference both have made in Grace’s life,” he said. “Her physicians and other caregivers in the NICU were absolutely fabulous – second to none – and we’ll never forget what a difference they made in our beautiful little girl’s life.” In assessing the concert, Addington and Freeman said it will be the perfect way to kick off the summer. An accomplished musician, Raye hit the right note in 1991 with the song “Love, Me,” which showcased his wonderful voice. As his career has progressed, he has continued to make his mark with other ballads, such as “One Boy, One Girl,” “Not That Different” and “If I Were You.” He has also shown his versatility with peppy songs such as “My Kind of Girl” and “I Want You Bad.” Raye has also used his fame to promote important organizations and causes, such as Boys Town, Special Olympics, Catholic Relief Services, Country Cares About AIDS and Al-Anon. Addington has built a successful career as a show-opener for major artists and groups such as Chris Young, Josh Turner, Justin Moore and the Eli Young Band. He issued his first full-length album “Homegrown” in 2011, which reached No. 53 on the iTunes country album charts. Having earned rave reviews from peers and other music industry professionals for that effort, Addington is now working on his second album. Todd Norris, Wellmont’s senior vice president of system advancement and president of Wellmont Foundation, said he appreciates Addington and Raye for supporting Children’s Miracle Network “Events such as this showcase the valuable partnerships that have enabled Children’s Miracle Network to be such a powerful force in the well-being of children,” Norris said. “As we begin the next generation of care, individuals and organizations can continue to impact these young lives in so many ways, such as our NICU expansion, through their
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support of Children’s Miracle Network. It’s an investment that will improve thousands more children’s lives.” Tickets for the throwdown are $12 in advance and $15 the day of the concert. They are available starting later this week at Food City stores on Eastman Road and Clinchfield Street in Kingsport, as well as in Colonial Heights, Church Hill and Weber City, Virginia. They can also be purchased at First Kingsport Credit Union. All tickets are general admission. More information about Children’s Miracle Network is available at www.childrensmiraclenetwork.org. Donations can be made all year at www.wellmontfoundation.org.
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Summer Nights Short But Full of Awe As excited as everyone gets about the first day of Summer this week, it’s really a bummer for die-hard stargazers. That’s because the longest day of the year—and the three weeks before and after it, have robbed the amateur astronomer of their night with more than 16 hours of daylight and twilight combined. All that is great for outdoor enthusiasts, but it wrecks havoc on those wanting to spend an hour or so with their telescopes finding deep sky objects like the many planetary nebula and globular clusters in the Summer constellations. Here’s a quick refresher about the celestial mechanics involved that give Earth a yin-yang change of sea-
sons to those closest to the north and south poles. People find it hard to believe that the Earth is actually farther away from the Sun in the summer, and closer to the Sun in the winter. That’s because we live with a Northern Hemisphere bias. In Australia, South America and Africa the seasons are reversed and Earth is closer to the Sun in the hot, January summer time “Down Under.” The Earth will be farthest from the Sun, called aphelion, on July 3 at 94.5 million miles. We’re closest to the Sun, perihelion, in the first week of January at around 91.3 million miles. All this seasonal flux is caused by the Earth being tilted at a 23.5 degree angle from straight up and down.
We literally tilt away or toward the Sun as our globe orbits our favorite star every 365.25 days. In the Summer, the Sun’s rays are hot because they are beating down at a more direct angle. That’s because the Sun is so high up in the sky. Re-
member how much further to the south the Sun is in the winter? Indirect sunlight, like between sunrise and 10 am, and 4 pm to sundown, doesn’t have the energy level of intensity compared to when the Sun is more overhead, the sunlight travel-
ing through less earthly atmosphere. The Summer Solstice was a noted celestial event in all civilized cultures of antiquity. The Sun stood still in the daylight sky at noon, ending its northward movement. The word “solstice” is a Latin derivative that
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Stargazer - Continued from previous page means “Sun stands still.” Then, a few days after the solstice, the noon Sun begins slipping southward in its arc, and the summer season begins running its course to the autumnal equinox. As the seasons change, so does the background of constellations change as Earth looks outward to the “grandstands” of stars as it races around the Sun. The Winter constellations like Orion, Gemini, Taurus and the Big and Little Dogs are popular because they become visible as early as 6 pm and dominate all night. But the outstanding Summer star patterns of Cygnus, Aquila, Lyra, Scorpius and Sagittarius are less familiar to the average Joe and Jane America. Yet they are beautiful, easy to find constellations that crowd around the Milky Way. So, those avid stargazers have to wait to nearly 10 pm to star serious star hopping with a telescope to find what are called the “faint fuzzies” in the catalogs of “deep sky” objects that amateur astronomers love to find and see over and over.
In fact, it’s a ritual to many stargazers to see their familiar stellar “friends” as they first clear the eastern horizon denoting a new season of stars to hop around and enjoy. These “deep sky objects” have names like the Ring Nebula, the Dumbbell Nebula, the Lagoon Nebula and the Great Globular Cluster. The Milky Way spans overhead from north to south, but until late Summer and early Autumn you have to stay up late to around midnight to see all the goodies within its boundaries. When the first large telescopes of 12-24 inches were being made and used to survey the night sky in the 18th Century, several astronomers began finding faint grey and fuzzy objects that moved and were later determined to be comets in highly elliptical orbits around the Sun. And there were other “faint fuzzies” that didn’t move and remained in the same spot, night after night, month after month and year after year. The great comet hunter Charles Messier kept a catalog of the most familiar objects so others would not mistake them for comets. There
were more than 100 objects and they were given an “M” designation for the Frenchman’s name. Thus in our Summer sky are exploded stars like M-57 the Ring Nebula and M-27 the Dumbbell Nebula. There are huge gas stellar nurseries like M-8, the Lagoon Nebula and M-20 the Trifid Nebula. And many Globular Clusters like M-13 and M-4. The famous list of 105 Messier Objects is where most amateur astronomers start to discover the deep sky objects in their telescopes. All the “M objects” are visible in binoculars—though that’s a special challenge. Cygnus the Swan is in the heart of the Milky Way, with the bright star
Deneb at its tail. Deneb is also the top of the Northern Cross of stars traced out by the bright stars that make up the swan and its spread wings, flying southward down the Milky Way. Lyra contains the brightest star of the night, Vega, high overhead and outside the Milky Way. It is an ancient musical string instrument called a Lyre, outlined by four stars making a parallelogram or lopsided square. Between two of these stars is the Ring Nebula, M-57, a beautiful oval of gases blown off a star that exploded centuries ago. On the other side of the Milky Way is another flying bird, Aquila the Eagle. It is a smaller cross of stars with
the very bright one called Altair. In the nearby small and faint constellation called Vulpecula the Fox are the remains of another exploded star called the Dumbbell Nebula, M-27, which could be called the “bar bell” nebula after the weight room exercising tool. Together the bright stars of Vega, Altair and Deneb make up the asterism called the Summer Triangle. It is a beautiful sight on our warm evenings, and easy to follow as the Earth’s rotation turns the stars overhead. There are Messier Objects all over the night sky each season, and those in our Summer nights are easy to find—if you stay up late enough!
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Skies This Week Celestial events in the skies for the week of June 17th - June 23rd, 2014, as compiled for The Loafer by Mark D. Marquette.
While the Earth reaches the point in its orbit where our Northern Hemisphere has the longest days—and the shortest nights—this is also the week when three NASA manned space missions paved the way for today’s International Space Station, and a fourth put the first American woman in space. The Moon dominates the after-midnight skies reaching Third Quarter, and planets Mars and Saturn are easy evening targets.
astronauts and the 40-foot Spacelab module in the cargo bay. During the nearly 17-day mission, the astronauts conducted 22 experiments on human physiology, microgravity effects on metallic alloys and protein crystals as well as the behavior of fluids in the weightlessness of outer space.
Sat. June 21
Wed. June 18
The first day of Summer is today, the solstice occurring at 10:51 am. The Sun actually enters the constellation Gemini the Twins, though astrologers would have you think it’s in Cancer. Changes in the calendar centuries ago have put the skies out of sync with those entertaining horoscopes, but trust me, if you turned out the light during the day, you’d see the Sun in Gemini, not Cancer. On this 1993 date in space history, Space Shuttle Endeavour was launched with pressurized SpaceHab laboratory its cargo bay. The astronauts conducted 10 days of life science and material processing research, paving the way for future applications in the International Space Station.
Thurs. June 19
On this 1973 date in space history, three astronauts returned from a 28-day stay aboard America’s first space station, Skylab. Paul Weitz, Joseph Kerwin and Apollo 12 moonwalker Pete Conrad were the first crew aboard the huge Skylab, built inside a Saturn V rocket cylinder. Their four weeks in space was the world record at the time and helped pioneer the six-month missions spent by astronauts aboard the orbiting ISS.
Tues. June 17
When it finally gets dark around 10 pm, look south and you’ll see a string of four bright “stars” from left to right. Far left is the red heart of Scorpius, Antares in the Milky Way. To the right is yellowish planet Saturn in Libra the Scales. Next is bright white star Spica in the sprawling lady, Virgo, and beside it is the Red Planet, Mars. In a telescope Mars doesn’t look like much more than a ruddy disk in a backyard telescope, but Saturn will knock your socks off with its uniquely beautiful rings. On this 1983 date in space history, Sally Ride became the first American female in space as was rocketed off Earth with four men aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger. It was the seventh Shuttle flight, and Challenger’s second. Ride made a second flight before becoming a NASA ambassador. She died in 2012 of pancreatic cancer at age 61. Her maiden voyage at age 32 still makes her the youngest American to orbit Earth. The Last Quarter Moon is today, and our celestial neighbor rises at 1 am EDT to begin its trek this week across the morning skies. Often ignored by backyard telescope because of the middle of the night observing time, this western side of the Moon is dominated by the huge ancient lava sea called the Oceanus Procellium, or the Sea of Storms.
Sun. June 22
Mon. June 23
Venus teams up with The Pleiades star cluster in the morning sky, a couple of hours before sunrise. A great photo opportunity, use your camera on a tripod and make exposures of 2-30 seconds at 800 ISO with your self-timer to eliminate any camera shake. Don’t discard anything until you download and see it on a computer monitor—you’ll be Fri. June 20 On this 1996 date in space history, Space surprised at all the stars! Shuttle Columbia was launched with seven
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Jonesborough Welcomes Grammy Award-Winning Storyteller
Bill Harley Bill Harley, a storyteller known for personal tales of exceptional warmth and humor, will soon spend a week at the International Storytelling Center sharing some of his best work. The popular performer plans to debut new material and revisit old favorites during his weeklong stint as storyteller-in-residence. “The heart of my work is to talk seriously about growing up,” Harley says. “I like to be really emotionally honest about it. A lot of times when people talk about childhood, they say how beautiful it is. I think people often forget it can be kind of a scary place. You don’t know how it’s going to turn out, and you don’t have much power to change it. I’m able to touch kids and adults because I don’t turn away from that.” At the same time, Harley’s sto-
ries have an undeniable lightness. “Humor comes naturally to me,” he says. “I can’t go for too long before I make some kind of wisecrack. I’m a humorist, but I hope I’m saying something a little bit deeper about who we are. It’s a balance. That humor opens people up a little bit to hear that message.” Harley’s residency will run June 24 – 28, Tuesday through Saturday, with daily performances at 2:00 p.m. in the Mary B. Martin Storytelling Hall. Tickets for all matinees are just $12 for adults and $11 for seniors, students, and children under 18. Season passes that offer savings of 44 percent are also available while supplies last. In addition to his afternoon shows, Harley has been engaged for an exclusive evening concert, “Home: Stories About the Place We
Live,” on Thursday, June 26, at 7:30 p.m. Presenting a new collection of stories with an environmental bent, Harley dives deep into what really makes a house (or a state, or a planet) a home. Tickets are only $15 and are expected to sell out quickly, so advance purchase is strongly recommended. All ticket holders will save 10 percent on same-day dining at The Olde Courthouse Diner, The Dining Room, Jonesborough General Store and Eatery, or Main Street Café. For all his performances, Harley plans to bring along his guitar and ukulele. “I’ve been influenced by a lot of different kinds of music, and I feel like I steal from a lot of different traditions,” he says. “My brother is a classical musician, so I’ve done a lot of work with orchestras. But mostly it’s me and a guitar and a
handful of chords trying to figure out how to make words rhyme.” A Grammy award-winner and frequent commentator for NPR, Harley’s stories are in high demand. His last residency was in 2007. “I’m really glad to be coming back,” he says. “Jonesborough is a jewel of a town. I’m looking forward to being one of its townspeople for a week. We’re going to have a great time.”
Information about all TIR performers, as well as a detailed schedule for 2014, is available at www. storytellingcenter.net. The International Storytelling Center is open 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday. For more information about Storytelling Live! or to make a group reservation, call (800) 9528392 ext. 222 or (423) 913-1276.
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Southwest Virginia in Pictures
“I Love Southwest Virginia” Youth Photo Contest
High School Winners: 1st place – Luke Craig, Narrows (pictured above) 2nd place – Hayley Aker, Chilhowie 3rd place – Nick Spencer, Patrick County Honorable mention: Shalissa Breeding (Lebanon), Alison Saari (Blacksburg), Graysen Barrs (Abingdon), Kaitlyn Hafley (Chilhowie)
Ten young photographers, representing schools all over Southwest Virginia’s 19-county footprint, were recognized for their photos with an awards program at Heartwood: Southwest Virginia’s Artisan Gateway. “We love having the opportunity to celebrate Southwest Virginia’s unique culture and the talented young people who call our region home,” said Heartwood Operations Manager Lu Ellsworth, who presented the awards with Todd Christensen, executive director of the Southwest Virginia Cultural Heritage Foundation. “I think it’s important that our students get recognized and encouraged in the arts,” said Nina Rizzo, art teacher of the two winners from Chilhowie High School. “I appreciate that Heartwood is part of that encouragement.”
Middle School Winners: 1st place – Matthew Fritz, Damascus (pictured above) 2nd place – Kierra Gertz, Northwood 3rd place – Luisa Martinez, Rye Cove
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“Edge of Tomorrow” Tom Cruise may have his share of personal quirks, but he sure knows how to pick unique films in order to display his movie star prowess. Cruise is featured in the new scifi film “Edge of Tomorrow” along side Emily Blunt (“The Devil Wears Prada”), and is based the Japanese novel “All You Need is Kill”. At the beginning of the film we discover humanity has been at war with the Mimics, an alien species that is about to completely rule the Earth. As as result of the invasion, NATO has formed the United Defense Forces in an effort to battle the hostile aliens, but as the aliens have a tight grip of most of Europe, UDF introduced armed mechanized exoskeletons called Jackets, which resulted in a victory in one of the major battles. When we are introduced to Cruise’s character, Major William Cage, he is in a meeting with a General who
informs the major he will be leading a new invasion against the Mimics in Europe. Cage scoffs at the idea, saying he is not fit for combat, and is more of a “mouth piece” for the military. As a result of his objection, Cage is stripped of his rank and taken to a base at Heathrow Airport in London, where he will deploy the following morning. After a tumultuous meeting with his commander and fellow solders, Cage and his platoon are taken to the area of the invasion and dropped from the futuristic aircraft we always see in this type of film. However, the Mimics have anticipated the attack, and begin their own counterattack, resulting in heavy casualties for the human fighters. During the battle, Cage kills an extremely large Mimic, is doused with the creatures blood and dies. Cage then wakes up and finds himself back at
the base where he was sent by the General. He eventually discovers he is caught in a time loop, caused by contact with the creatures blood, and every time he dies, he is back at the base the day before the invasion. He warns his fellow soldiers of their pending doom, and eventually meets Rita Vrataski (Blunt), nicknamed the “Angel of Verdun”, because of her superior fighting ability.
Cage and Rita are eventually caught in the time loop together and intend to find a way to keep from dying and finally defeat the Mimics. The film features plenty of exciting battles, impressive special effects, and fine performances from the cast. I was concerned the “time loop” aspect would grow old fast, but I was pleasantly surprised how effectively it was handled. Director
Doug Liman (“The Bourne Identity”) doesn’t let the action or the unique premise overshadow the actors. Cruise is his usual dependable self, and Blunt makes a fine action star. While “Edge of Tomorrow” may not be the best sci-fi film you will hope to see, it still provides nearly 2 hours of fun summer entertainment. (Rated PG-13) B
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The Virginia Creeper Trail
FUN FOR ALL AGES!
The Virginia Creeper Trail stretches 34 miles from Abingdon Virginia to the North Carolina state line near Whitetop Va. Every year more than 250,000 visitors from all over the world travel to Southwest Va. to experience the most beautiful bike trail in the country, winding gently downhill from the trailhead at Whitetop train station, bikers travel through the Jefferson National Forest over dozens of trestles & bridges and alongside the breathtaking views of the Whitetop Laurel Creek. About midway through the first 17 mile stretch you will come across the Creeper Trail Café where many cyclist stop to enjoy lunch or a piece of their world famous chocolate cake, with interpretive signs and historical sites along the way such as Whitetop, and Green Cove train stations where O, Winston Link captured some of his most famous photographs during the 1950’s the Virginia Creeper Trail has something for everyone. Actually crossing over the Appalachian trail and Running through the tiny mountain
town of Damascus & continuing on for another 17 mile stretch to the Historic town of Abingdon where you will find a huge selection of restaurants, antique shops, and of course the world famous Barter Theatre. Creeper Trail Bike Rental & Shuttle with two locations on the trail, ( Whitetop & Damascus ) has been in business for 7 yrs. and we provide shuttle service 7 days a week year round by reservation. We offer only quality TREK bikes in various styles and sizes and can accommodate everyone from couples to the largest groups, our employees are all native to the area and we take pride in making sure your visit to our area is one you will never forget. So load up your bike or stop in to rent one of ours and let us shuttle you and your family to the trailhead for a day of outdoor fun that can be enjoyed by all ages. You can call us at 276-475-3611, or email us at email@example.com for reservations, or visit us online at www.creepertrailbikerental-shuttle.com for more info.
16th Annual Garden Tour The Abingdon Garden Club once again will welcome visitors to charming Historic Abingdon, Virginia on Saturday, June 21st, 10:00 to 5:00, when the club hosts its 16th annual garden tour. This years’ tour features beautiful gardens and the interior of one lovely home. The club has selected unique gardens and hardscapes showcasing the trend for increased use of outdoor rooms and patios. The beautiful Herrell residence will be the site of
refreshments this year. Tickets will be available at the Abingdon Convention and Visitors Bureau, 335 Cummings Street from 9:00 – 2:00 on the day of the tour. Tickets will also be available for purchase at any of the gardens. Tickets are $10.00. Proceeds from the tour are used for maintaining local parks, container plantings at the local cancer center as well as many other programs supported by the club.
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Things We Said Today
It’s an increasingly strange phenomena, that moment when you’re speaking to someone that you’re attracted to, and your brain decides to just shut down all sectors that house the entirety of the known English language. Your brain playing a horrible trick, in that the moment you’ve said some incredibly asinine thing to someone lovely, it immediately snaps back into action, and somewhat like a scalded puppy dog, looks at you and says “what have you done?” Picture a dinner table, a few small plates of food, drinks. All very casual, all very informal. Let’s say that I’m at this table with close friends, and we’re talking about movies. Let’s then say that the conversation comes around to Alfred Hitchcock, and I’m asked something about the way Hitchcock knew how to use color in his films. I’d imagine I might give a
response that sounds something like the following: “Hitchcock was a master at knowing how to make a color pallet work on film, even when he was shooting in black and white. He could have made
Psycho in color if he wanted, but he chose to shoot it in black and white, as he knew it would serve the story better.” Now let’s imagine this exact same scene, only instead of dinner with friends, I’m on a date with someone I fancy. Everything is the same, only two people, but the conversation has come around to Hitchcock. What follows is the same as I said above, only tainted with the brain glaze over being around someone I like: “Hitchcock make pictures look real purdy. I like Jell-O.” As my date looks at me as if I just changed into a diaper full of cole slaw, I slowly start to realize that I did not make words sound good. I don’t know why, but this is something that happens. I read something on the interwebs—which as we all know is a totes reliable fount of information—that when you’re looking or talking to someone you find attractive, your eyes dilate. First off, I’m sorry Dr. Jennings, that dilation every time I have my eyes checked is all on you, not me. But secondly, if you’re eyes dilate when you’re interacting with someone you like, maybe that’s what your brain does. I’ve talked to classrooms full of students before in a very eloquent manner, but then on a date, my brain suddenly finds the complexity of Green Eggs and Ham to be tasking. This is why I always take a first date to one of the restaurants where I am a regular and on very good terms with the staff. I have a usual table there, and it sits across
from a flatscreen TV that usually has some type of sports on it. On date nights, there are no sports on this TV, as things are set so that my date can not see the TV, but I can, and it serves as a sort of flash card system. While we talk, and I find myself desperately trying to be charming, on the screen will flash some prepared conversation topics that I’ve written well into advance of the date. As the appetizers are brought forth, the screen might say something like “Ask about that NON
EXPLOSIVE POLITICAL ISSUE.” As I wonder if maybe I could recommend something she would like off the seafood section of the menu, the screen reads “Is allergic to shellfish.” It’s a failsafe system, and so far it’s only confused a third of the patrons who are also in the restaurant on my date nights. This is how I am fighting the battle of brain glaze when on a date. Maybe, just possibly, one day I’ll find myself able to wrap my head around Hop on Pop while on a date. See you next week.
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The Era of the Short Suit
Summer’s here and the time is right for . . . . .short suits. Yes, get ready for a new kind of business attire. Actually, it’s not really new, but more accurately a recycled look. If you are an AC/DC fan, for example, you will immediately recognize this new look as the old Angus Young look. Yes, we’re talking about the cute little schoolboy costume, complete with shorts and a traditional suit coat, tie, and dress shirt. Interestingly enough, Angus Young relates that his nowiconic look could have been far different, because “I tried different costumes, including a Superman suit, a Zorro outfit, and once even dressed up as a gorilla.” Thanks to his sister, Margaret, Angus was finally convinced to don the schoolboy outfit and the rest, as they say, is history. However, I can only wish that he had chosen that gorilla costume, because this summer’s hot new trend would have looked even cooler (if you can ever consider a gorilla costume cool, temperature wise, that is) Hayley Peterson, writing in the June 9 edition of Business Insider, describes the new (old) look this way: “The ensemble looks like a regular suit from the waist up, with a sport coat over a buttondown shirt and sometimes a tie or bowtie. Instead of trousers, however, the suit’s bottoms are cropped at the knee.” And Jon Patrick, J. Hilburn’s creative director, tells us this new fashion ensemble is “definitely having a moment, particularly with younger guys.” J. Crew sells the new sensation for around $400, and promotes the new look as “more ‘Gatsby,’ less ‘Caddyshack’” and “almost guaranteed to win the battle for the best-dressed at nearly every summer occasion.” A spokesper-
son for Reiss, an upscale English clothing company, recommends that you match the shorts “with a plain black crew-neck T, suede driving shoes, and a pair of aviator glasses for a look that says ‘smart and informal.’” I vote for “pretentious and shallow,” but I’m definitely not the go-to person when it comes to fashion. And thank goodness for that. As silly as the basic short suit looks, there are versions that look even sillier, and even downright creepy. Take the $859 Comme des Garcons (Commie Waiter??) from Barneys New York, for example. Although the top looks reasonably conventional, the bottom is a short little frilly number, “trimmed with chiffon panels.” Once you see it, you can never get the image out of your mind. And even creepier are those Florsheim-like highly polished dress shoes worn sans socks. We might need to invent new words to adequately describe what this looks like. Of course, we must always realize that one person’s trash is another person’s treasure. Needless to say, we are already beginning to witness a neat little philosophical debate taking shape between the arbiters of formality versus the flagwavers for a perpetual “casual Friday” mentality. In an interesting little piece written by Albert Burneko for The Concourse, we encounter a tantalizing little definition that puts the debate in perspective: “Shorts embody a choice of comfort over fanciness (even when they look OK, as they do on dudes with toned calves and slim ankles); the suit, by its design, says I have chosen to be uncomfortable for the sake of propriety.” And, please do not make “the intellectual er-
ror of thinking that a suit with shorts represents a compromise between formality and comfort.” After all, “the pants are the leastformal part of a suit; all the mannered discomfort is in the upper half, and none of it is mitigated by the inclusion of shorts.” Rather, “the suit-with-shorts is a getup at fundamental odds with itself.” The wearer of such a fashion statement, rather than appearing cool,
trendy, and campy, just looks like a clueless, narcissistic jerk. Or, as Burneko observes with a phrase I wish I had thought of first, “It is a bad look for bad people with bad clothing options.” Bad, bad, bad indeed, not to mention just downright funny (strange, not ha-ha). I believe we are going through a suit identity crisis period. Not only do we have the rise of the aforementioned short suit, but
we also have another casual suit phenomenon. Here we see various motivational speakers and/or bestselling authors who are supposed to inspire us while wearing matching suit coats and pants (and oftentimes vests) with open collar dress shirts that may or may not be tucked in. Sometimes sneakers are worn with these ensembles, and on many occasions we witness suit coats and vests worn with jeans and running shoes. I guess the message here is that “I am an authority figure who wants to pretend to be just like you, although you are the one who is paying big bucks to hear me pontificate about how you can turn your crummy and meaningless little life around after you buy my books and watch my DVDs.” How much better it would be if these kinds of presenters would at least wear light slacks and dark coats or don completely casual clothing; half-casual, halfformal tends to send out too many schizophrenic signals. I’m sure it will only be a matter of time before we see short suits on the presentation platform. And after that, what? Perhaps it is best to not even imagine the possibilities. Well, it’s time to bring this column to an end before we conjure up too many unpleasant visual images. I have yet to spot a living and breathing short suit wearer, but I know that will happen sooner rather than later. In the meantime, I think I will start wearing a bowtie with my T-shirts. See you next week.
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